EFG Hermes lauds optimisation team as ex-SunEdison portfolio exceeds expectations

EFG Hermes has heaped praise on its asset optimisation team after the 365MW former-SunEdison portfolio it acquired earlier this year performed some 25% ahead of expectation.

After a protracted purchase process that followed SunEdison’s collapse, its yieldco TerraForm Power sold the 365MW portfolio to Vortex Solar for a total of £470 million at the start of this year.

The transaction saw Lightsource, understood to be among the five companies initially interested in acquiring it, appointed as Vortex’s technical partner and O&M provider for the portfolio.

However it was not until May that the deal was completed, some four months after it was first announced, to allow for various inspections and due diligence to be carried out.

This morning EFG Hermes, parent company of the Europe-focused Vortex investment platform, reported that the portfolio had far exceeded its budgeted performance expectations for the first nine months of 2017.

Earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) from Vortex Solar – which currently holds a 50% stake in the former SunEdison portfolio – reached €34 million during the period, some 25% ahead of expectations.

This, EFG Hermes said, was attributable to “ongoing revenue optimisation activities pursued by the asset management team”.

The performance also comes despite SunEdison-built assets historically struggling post-completion. Having acquired some assets from the failed developer, Foresight was forced to seek limited damages (LDs) following lengthy periods of underperformance.

Foresight first disclosed the issues in March last year but they have continued to persist. In August the investor revealed that it was still experiencing some performance issues with SunEdison-built sites, but that it was confident LDs it had already received would offset the lower-than-forecast generation.

There was also another case involving an 11MW project in Norrington – left on TerraForm Power’s books after the rest of its UK assets were sold – which has been continuously threatened with dismantlement after a court ruled it had been constructed without the appropriate planning consent.